Okay, straight up, people; if this is your first time coming to this blog to check out Diane and Leo’s wedding sneak peek, first and foremost, welcome! You should know this. Every single one of my couples gets a writeup here. I talk about the wedding, the sweet moments that I get a front row seat to- sometimes even closer, if I’m using a telephoto lens- for each and every one of my newlyweds, the little things that makes each wedding special. People get married every day, but every love story is its own tale. I talk about the way families come together, and all the ways that marriage begins. Sometimes I get to shoot weddings for people who are more than clients. This was one of those weddings!

Diane is Leo’s “for the rest of our lives” love. I couldn’t wait to meet him in person, because, as Diane’s cheerleader from afar for 13 years now, I know nothing for sure about her love life, except that I know she would not pledge herself to or make marriage vows within anyone not genuinely worthy of her unique and lovely spirit. So when I saw Facebook photos of excited grins and hugs at a family restaurant meal, posted with some vaguebooking hints about bigger news, I sent an excited “Is that an engagement ring I see?!?” message.

Her response? “We actually got married.” (Happy dance! But also? This guy must be remarkable. Spoiler- he really is.) Even better, she said, “Now we’re thinking it would be fun to have a celebration that includes our family and friends, and affirm our vows in a more traditional way, surrounded by our loved ones.” Alburgh VT, she wrote, beckons! I was beyond honored when she followed that with, “Of course you were the first person I thought of.”

I am SO honored by that, I really am. That is how I ended up trekking north to just below the Canadian border, taking a ferry and spending last weekend with Diane and her family, behind the camera as she and Leo pledged themselves to each other publicly in a vow renewal. Or, as we say it in the wedding industry, first they got married; last weekend they got wedding-ed.

Lake Champlain is astoundingly beautiful, but I know it was most really meaningful for Diane to get married in this part of Vermont. Her dad, Pete, who passed away seven years ago, loved his lake home in Vermont. His wife Linda gave a reading he would have read during the ceremony, and his best friend John danced with the bride right after the first dance. They both honored him admirably while smiling through tears. Diane’s brother carried his pocket watch, and the happy couple light a unity candle used in his wedding to Linda. He wasn’t far from anyone’s thoughts all day.

The day was full of crystal blue skies and perfect temperatures. There was no humidity. Like, seriously no humidity. It was “I can wear my hair down!” bridal hairstyle/no humidity, that’s how perfect the weather was. Friends and family came from Canada and Brazil, Boston and beyond. Diane’s (and now Leo’s) cats were honored in little details like the custom escort cards and her “getting meowied” tote. Leo wrote the kind of loving and sincere vows that made me think, “Oh, man, I would not want to go second after THAT,” and my heart did another little happy dance when I saw through my telephoto lens how gently Diane caressed Leo’s hand with her thumb as they slid their wedding rings on. Leo’s daughter gave a lovely toast, and Diane’s childhood bestie brought the house down in her speech peppered with Dirty Dancing references. Diane’s mom talked about how lovingly he cared for her after a recent surgery, and, she said, “It does my mother’s heart good to see my daughter taken care of like that.”

Yes. YES. It does the heart good, indeed.

I’ll let the photos illustrate all of that and more, now.

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Congratulations, Diane and Leo!

Filled Under : Wedding

There’s a lot of talk at weddings where “two become one,” and “a new family is born.” Sometimes, though, the wedding just formalizes what everyone there already knows to be true. Two became one long ago. The deep love, the every day love, the for better or worse love, the wedding vow love? Lia and Joe have been living that commitment to each other for a while now. In fact, their bond is so deep and strong, it’s personified in the heart and soul of their sweet daughter Eliana. Two, as it turns out, have already become three.

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The wedding day was truly the icing on the cake. (I’ll get to the cake- the yummy, yummy cake- in a minute.) It was a day to stand up, and say, “You. I choose you. You are the one I honor with my love.”

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I will NEVER get tired of seeing the look on the excited groom’s face when he sees his bride in her wedding dress. This will never get old.

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After a few minutes, Lia and Joe’s family came out to the gazebo and we took some group photos.

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My favorites, though, were with Eliana!

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Such a cutie patootie!

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We got through all the posed photos, and then it was time to go down the aisle!

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The ceremony was personal and loving, with a few sincere prayers and the exchange of rings.

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The newlyweds kissed, and then Joe swept Lia into a romantic dip. (Lia, you lucky girl.)

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They walked down the aisle with their sweet Eliana, and it was time to get the party started.

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Well, first, the paperwork got signed, and THEN the celebration started (with shots!)

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What struck me during the first dance was the way Lia and Joe held each other close with their new wedding rings on their hands. She rested her hand on his chest…

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…and he placed his hand on her waist.

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Joe had tears of happiness in his eyes as he danced with both of his best girls.

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Then, Eliana decided it was time for some twirling.

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I knew it was going to be an amazing party when a conga line started in the first dance set.

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I loved this moment with Lia flashing her bling. On our wedding day, when your ring feels so new and just a little foreign on your hand, you just want to look at it and smile.

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Flossing…

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and selfies!

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Joe cracked up as his best man Alantz gave his toast, and then Lia’s sister offered her heartfelt best wishes.

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So many cute kids at this wedding!

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I love Lia’s smile here. This is the way you smile when your favorite person in the world has walked up behind you.

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Okay, I promised I would talk about the cake. It was to die for, and best of all, it was a gift from a dear friend. (I had a piece of the red velvet layer. It makes me want to make a special trip to the Cakery in Fishkill. It was the kind of red velvet you happily drive an hour for, is all I’m saying.)

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The rest of the reception passed in the blink of an eye.

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You KNOW it’s an amazing party when guests fall asleep on the table!

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Congratulations, Lia, Joe and Eliana! Thank you for letting me be with you on your best day ever!

Filled Under : Wedding

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